Optimization of thermo-alkaline disintegration of sewage sludge for enhanced biogas yield was carried out using response surface methodology (RSM) and Box-Behnken design of experiment. The individual linear and quadratic effects as well as the interactive effects of temperature, NaOH concentration and time on the degree of disintegration were investigated. The optimum degree of disintegration achieved was 61.45% at 88.50 °C, 2.29 M NaOH (24.23%w/w total solids) and 21 min retention time. Linear and quadratic effects of temperature are most significant in affecting the degree of disintegration. The coefficient of determination (R(2)) of 99.5% confirms that the model used in predicting the degree of disintegration process has a very good fitness with the experimental variables. The disintegrated sludge increased the biogas yield by 36%v/v compared to non-disintegrated sludge. The RSM with Box-Behnken design is an effective tool in predicting the optimum degree of disintegration of sewage sludge for increased biogas yield.
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